“We travel not for trafficking alone.
By better winds our fiery hearts are fanned.
For lust of knowing what should not be known
We take the Gold Road to Samarkand.”
These are the final 4 lines of poet James Elroy Flecker’s The Golden Journey to Samarkand.
Ok, so I didn’t make it to Samarkand, but hope to one day. When traveling through the “Stans” one of the difficulties is navigating the once-weekly flights between countries. I was sick that I couldn’t get to Samarkand or Bukhara, but such is life.
Tashkent is a lovely, modern city with several rivers running through it, and a large “central” park with a collection of water fountains, culminating in Niagara Falls. (insert picture)
They have a fantastic marketplace in Tashkent (actually they have 30+ markets) but the biggest is worth visiting.
I was able to make some Obi nan sesame bread with a local baker, and there are a ton of interesting fruits and veggies to admire. The black market rate for dollars was 6300 to 1 and for a cool souvenir I got a “brick” of 500 some bills for ten bucks.
At the handicraft market I asked one of the artisans if he would show me how to make a wooden plate and he was happy to oblige.